Clothing manufacturer to open smart eco-factory

Creative Apparel has announced plans to open a new ‘smart eco-factory’ driven by renewable energy.

Supported by Made Smarter, the clothing manufacturer will use rainwater harvesting, solar power, wind turbines, air-source heating, and eco fans to support technology at the warehouse, with the aim of creating a more sustainable approach to production.

Made Smarter, the government-led industry-backed technology adoption programme, has given Creative Apparel a £20,000 grant for a data and systems integration project that aims to automate and speed up the process of receiving orders, production management, and dispatch.

The manufacturer said it is investing in full factory digitalisation, where a central IT system will drive and measure smart machinery, linking production through to its customers and supply chain.

"As the COP26 United Nations climate change conference meets in Glasgow, the focus of the world is on how we live more sustainably,” commented Alain Dilworth, north west adoption programme manager at Made Smarter. "As one of the biggest greenhouse gas-emitting sectors of the UK economy, the manufacturing industry has a vital role in reducing emissions.

"Digitalisation offers a huge opportunity for manufacturers to deliver operational efficiencies, decarbonise heat and power, optimise design and materials, and improve logistics and transport, benefitting their business, their bottom line and the environment.”

Productivity is forecast to increase by 30 per cent and waste is set to reduce by 20 per cent.

“The fast fashion industry suffers from a reputation as one of the most damaging to the environment due to the amount of waste generated during the production process and the throw-away nature of many of the products,” said managing director Phil Millar. “We want to help address that by becoming a leader for change in the sector by putting sustainability at the heart of our production processes.”

Millar added: “By introducing digital technology and tools that reduce waste and consume less energy we want to prove that you can help save the planet and can save money.”

The new facility is scheduled to open in Stockport next year.

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